Yakshagana, cultural part and art of Tulunadu is losing its supreme prominence in the tight hold of people who blindly follow the trends of fancy lifestyle. But, the happy news is, there are some noble people who want to keep the art alive in the veins of the land by passing it to younger generations.
Ashok Bolur, a passionate Yakshagana lover, is one such person who dedicated himself to this art. He has nearly 34 years’ experience in Yakshagana Bhagavathike. It’s an interesting story how he began his journey.
He developed interest in Yakshagana in his childhood in the companionship of Yakshagana artist Bolur Dogra Poojary of Bokkapottana Yakshgana Association. In the year 1978, when he was in the 8th standard, he just loved the Yakshagana costume and make-up; and his Rangapravesha was through the role of Prahlada. Fire in the belly for an art made him to go to Yakshagana in the night; and attended school during the day time. Since he didn’t know the Yakshagana dance, he bagged roles in small time Yakshagana plays. In 1981 he learnt Bhagavathike from Patta Mahabala Shettigar and Mridanga from Kasaragodu Parameshwara Achar. In the year 1984, he started learning dance with Sri Mundappa Kommunje and in 1985 he trained in Yakshagana sangheet from Mandara Keshava Bhat.
When someone follows less travelled path criticism is expected. Same thing happened with Ashok Bolur. He didn’t get any support from home. But his deep interest in the art form helped him to learn more and more.
Ashok Bolur’s message to society is “We have a big responsibility to transfer ancient scriptures, art, culture and our Mother tongue to younger generation.”
Mr.Ashok Bolur says, “I sacrificed my Bank Job to pursue this passion. To dedicate time to art and also take care of family, I work as autorickshaw driver.” Indeed it’s sacrifice for art, where we are in the era when people just yearn for the so called secure white collar job, AC Room, Retirement benefits etc. But passion, hard work and dedication definitely paid off. He got many awards and honors.
He provided programmes and training in many places like Balmata College, Kayubail Panchalingeshwara Temple, Omkareshwara Yakshagana Vrinda, Iruvail Laxmi Ventateshwara Mandali, Amritha B.Ed College, two hour programmes in 98.3 FM and Sarang. In these 20 years he provided free training to so many school students. Interested art lovers can contact him on 9845811621.